Failure to Train Staff Means Employer Wholly Liable for Injury

When an employer's training of staff in how to carry out potentially dangerous processes is deficient, it is difficult to argue that when someone is injured as a result of that failure, they share responsibility for what happened.

So, when a court ruled that an employee who had been injured when his hand was trapped in machinery was 10 per cent liable for his injuries, he appealed against the decision.

The employee was inexperienced and had been given inadequate training in how to clean the equipment he operated. He was wiping the surface of a piece of machinery underneath a moving conveyor belt when his glove became caught and he was injured. Such cleaning was normally carried out while the conveyor was in operation, not turned off.

Crucially, he had approached the task in exactly the same way as a more experienced member of staff would have done, which the Court of Appeal concluded meant that his conduct 'fell considerably short of' that which could be judged to be contributory negligence.

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